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Backchannels

Linguists first used the term backchannel to refer to the spontaneous responses and signals that provide interactivity to what is only apparently a one-way communication. Social media users have adopted the term to refer to the unofficial, multi-directional online conversation that parallels formal academic exchange at a lecture or conference. The Backchannels blog is intended to have a similar relationship to scholarly discourse in STS. It provides an outlet for alternative-format scholarly communications, publishing shorter, timelier, media-rich communiques of interest to the global STS community. The editors welcome proposed contributions.

Michael Lynch / Part II: That Delicate Balance

Reflections Report-backs / Michael Lynch in conversation with Lucy Suchman

In Part II of his conversation with 4S President Lucy Suchman, Bernal Prize winner Michael Lynch speaks about his early work and looks ahead to future projects.

Michael Lynch / Part I: Coming of Age

Reflections Report-backs / Michael Lynch in conversation with Lucy Suchman

Michael Lynch was awarded the 2016 Bernal Prize for his important contribution to science and technology studies. Here, in conversation with 4S President Lucy Suchman, he reflects on his, and the field's, coming of age.

Reflexões do workshop brasileiro sobre Mudanças Climáticas e Estudos Sociais da Ciência e Tecnologia

Report-backs / Jean Hochsprung Miguel

A growing number of Brazilian and South American research groups have been exploring the links between science and technology and climate policy. Informal networks have been set up and culminated in the Workshop on Climate Change, Technoscience and Society, which took place in April 11 and 12 at the University of Campinas (State of São Paulo, Brazil). The main objective of this meeting was to bring together STS researchers interested in the production of climate knowledge from South American perspectives. The meeting enabled a diagnosis of emergent initiatives of the Brazilian ans South American scientific communities and governmental institutions for responding the social and scientific challenges posed by climate change.

Rethinking Value in the Bio-economy with Kean Birch: New Research in ST&HV

Reflections / Aleka Gurel

Professor Kean Birch, from York University, talks to Backchannels about his recent paper for ST&HV, "Rethinking 'Value' in the Bio-Economy: Finance, Assetization and the Management of Value."

4S Preview: Engaging STS Studies for Inclusive Development

Projects / Gabriela Bortz and Hernan Thomas

What is the role of Science and Technology studies and STS scholars in promoting, advocating, and building pathways towards inclusive and sustainable development?

4S Preview: Re-configuring Knowledge Practices: Folding Margins and Norms into Dynamic Hybridity

Projects / Ellen K Foster and Karin Patzke

Action, Interaction and Change (or what our 4S title session really means).

4S Preview: Sensing, Walking and Embodiment With and By Technologies—A Track Away From the Desk

Projects / Christopher Peter Wood

How do we move away from the desk (and the projector) to convey more of the subtle interactions which take place between bodies, technologies and their physical situations?

4S Preview: Free Lunch at the Handbook of STS Roundtable

Projects / Abby Kinchy

A roundtable discussion with the editors of the fourth edition of the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies will take place on September 1 at 12:30 pm, with lunch provided to the first 40 audience members.

4S Preview: Governing Scientific Excellence

Projects / Alex Rushforth, Laurens Hessels, Ruth Müller, Sarah de Rijcke, Thomas Franssen, Tjitske Holtrop & Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner

Despite growing interest, as an object of study ‘excellence’ discourses, policies, and instruments remain somewhat difficult to pin down. This is at least partly due to the term itself being something of an ambiguous container concept.

4S Preview: Valuation Practices at the Margins as a Centre of Attention

Projects / Kristin Asdal, C-F Helgesson, Freyja Knapp, Francis Lee, and Steve Woolgar

How is ‘what counts as valuable’ established in valuation practices, and by what criteria? What and who participate in such ventures and what are the effects?

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Reflections

STS and environmental history live to see another day
African cities in the changing global landscape
Silenced Issues 5| Coming to Terms with the Colorblindness of Contemporary STS
Engendering Alice and Bob

Report-backs

Public Health in the Calais Refugee Camp: Environment, Health and Exclusion
Building STS Programs: Notes From an Initial Meeting
Segundo Coloquio colombiano en estudios sociales de la ciencia: hacer la paz en un mundo posverdad
Describing and intervening: Exploring the plurality of STS in India

Projects

The Third Year of #QueerSTS4S and Call for 2018 Organizers
Dis—ease with X and Y: Disclosing Digital Sociology
How migrant registration infrastructures co-produce citizens, institutions and territory
Developing New STS Minors: The Case of Cal Poly

Reviews

Book Review: Cotton and Race Across the Atlantic: Britain, Africa, and America, 1900-1920
Renewable energy for STS scholarship: the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies
Betwixt and Between Augmentation and Automation: Some Reflections after Watching “Sully”
‘Hard’ Surveillance and ‘Soft’ Surveillance: The Quantified Self at Work

Backchannels Editors

Steven Jackson, Chair, 4S Web Committee

Steven Jackson, Conferences, journals, and events

Assistant Editors: Aleka Gurel, Yelena Gluzman

Gloria Baigorrotegui, Reviews, reblogs, and STS commentary from Asia, Africa & Latin America

Assistant Editors: Fredy Mora-Gámez, Prince Guma, Joseph Satish

Amanda Windle, Reviews, reblogs, and STS commentary from North America, Europe, and Australia

Assistant Editors: Leo Matteo Bachinger, Madeleine Pape

Anita Chan, Conference Blog Editor

For contact information, see the Editorial Guidelines page.